Local health departments for K-12 schools recently received updated COVID-19 public health recommendations from the New Jersey Department of Health.

The New Jersey Department of Education summarized the key updates in an advisory.

To support and prioritize uninterrupted, full-time, in-person learning, schools may transition away from a case-investigation response model to a routine disease control model. This model focuses on responding to clusters of cases, outbreaks and evidence of ongoing transmission instead of individual case investigation and contact tracing.

Quarantine is no longer recommended for people who are exposed to COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status. Therefore, NJDOH is discontinuing its recommendation for a test-to-stay program. However, asymptomatic students and staff who were exposed to COVID-19 should continue to test and wear a mask for 10 days.

Individuals who test positive, regardless of vaccination status, and individuals with COVID-19 symptoms who have not been tested and do not have an alternative diagnosis from their health care provider, should stay at home for at least five full days after the onset of symptoms or a positive test. Individuals who have no symptoms, or whose symptoms are clearing after five days and are fever-free for 24 hours, can return to school and wear a mask for an additional five days.

Schools are strongly encouraged to provide virtual or remote instruction to those students that must stay home due to COVID-19.

Questions can be directed to your county office of education.